Dennis Robinson’s four terms on city council span four decades. He’s seen a lot of transformation in that time – first, the growth of the fishing industry, and now, shipping and oil.
Through it all, Robinson says one concern has risen to the top:
"The housing issue will make or break our ability to capitalize to our fullest on these new developments," he says, "because without the housing, we won’t have the workers to handle the work required to support new opportunities."
For Zoya Johnson, being part of city council comes down to a simple goal: "My first priority will always be the quality of life in this community," she says.
Since she’s running unopposed for her second full term, Johnson’s already looking ahead to the city’s to-do list for the next three years. And she says the biggest variable is Arctic oil and shipping development.
If new industries do arrive in Unalaska, Johnson says she wants to be prepared to make sure the community doesn’t suffer.
The Coast Guard and other agencies coordinate hypothetical clean-up efforts at the Grand Aleutian Hotel Wednesday. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)
Coast Guard crews and local stakeholders are playing out a major hypothetical disaster in Unalaska this week. It’s part of a federal oil spill response drill that’s taking place in the Aleutians for the first time.
The drilll is based on a worst-case scenario: a 500,000-gallon oil spill in the waters around the island, after a hypothetical landslide above North Pacific Fuel’s tank farm near Mt. Ballyhoo.